MRRA One of 10 Winners of Obama’s “Make It in America Challenge” Funding for Brunswick Landing Technology Accelerator Project

In October of 2013, the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority and Coastal Counties Workforce, Inc. (CCWI) were awarded $2,050,000 in federal funding to support the establishment of an advanced manufacturing accelerator. The U.S Economic Development Administration committed $750,000 of the project, while $1.3 is being awarded to CCWI by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration.

The funding was made possible through a collaborative “Make it in America Challenge,” which includes a number of federal agencies coming together to accelerate job creation, worker training, foreign direct investment, and domestic business expansion.

With the grant money, MRRA has established the TechPlace advanced manufacturing accelerator in the 93,000 SF former Navy Building 250 located at 74 Orion Street. TechPlace will provide office, shop, laboratory, and workspace for MRRA’s target industries — aerospace, aviation, composites/advanced materials, renewable energy and biotechnology manufacturing.

Overall, the renovations will cost an estimated $1.5 million. MRRA, the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, and the Brunswick Development Corporation are each contributing $250,000 for a total of $750,000 to match the federal monies.

 


 

TechPlace origins

TechPlace wasn’t quite drawn up on a cocktail napkin, but it did have humble beginnings. Here’s how it came to be from our initial concept document, which provided a foundation for our “Make It In America Challenge” grant application for federal monies from the EDA.

Assumptions:

  • There is a significant need for entrepreneurial incubator/accelerator space in the Midcoast region to support the business development needs of early stage businesses in critical STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields.
  • Innovation is essential for creating new livable wage jobs in both the high-tech and traditional business sectors in Maine.
  • In recent years, innovation has led to new jobs in high-tech and advanced manufacturing sectors as diverse as aerospace, nanotechnology, life sciences, and alternative energy.
    Investment in innovation in the Midcoast region will lead to a more productive and faster growing economy, with higher returns to workers and increases in living standards.

Objective:

  • Create the premier small business technology and advanced manufacturing accelerator in New England.

Strategies:

  • Establish a strong coalition and partnerships with key State stakeholders (public and private) to implement the vision of TechPlace.
  • Work with partners to develop a business plan for the establishment and operation of TechPlace.
  • Work with partners to prepare proposals for federal solicitation for the Accelerator Challenge Program and other related federal solicitations.